EMPLOYMENT LAW

Employment law is one of the most rapidly changing areas of English law, due in great part to the impact of European legislation.  Sadly, common sense can no longer always be relied upon as a reliable guide to good practice.

To avoid claims, it is often important to ensure that the correct practices and procedures are followed.  Failure to do so can give scope for claims that would otherwise have no merit.  Our aim is to provide you with early practical advice so that claims are avoided. And when a claim cannot be avoided, we are here to provide you with sound, sensible advice to deal with it as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Our expertise includes:
 

  • Age discrimination

  • Breach of contract claims

  • Contracts of employment

  • Disability discrimination

  • Disciplinary procedures

  • Equal opportunities policies

  • Grievance procedures

  • Harassment complaints

  • Health & safety policies

  • Maternity rights

  • Part-time worker rights

  • Paternity rights

  • Redundancy

  • Settlement agreements

  • Sex discrimination

  • Statutory statements of particulars of employment

  • Unfair dismissal claims

  • Wrongful dismissal

Our fees

Some cases are inevitably more straightforward than others.  So that our charges fairly reflect the complexity of a matter, we charge according to the time needed to be spent by our professional staff to deal with  each matter. 

Our current hourly rates are:

  • £265 + VAT for partners

  • £235 + VAT for senior solicitors

  • £215 + VAT for solicitors

  • £135 + VAT for trainee solicitors

 

Our employment advice is provided by partner and head of department John Knowles, and/or senior solicitor Emma Grandison. John has been advising on employment law work since 1982 and Emma since 2005.

Typical fees for cases proceeding to a contested final hearing

The vast majority of cases settle before a final hearing - and often before any proceedings at all.  Sometimes all that is needed is a brief discussion to advise you of your obligations and enable you to resolve matters for yourself.

Nonetheless, our professional regulations require us to publish estimates of our charges for those few cases that do proceed to a full final hearing.  Typical fees in such cases are as follows:

  • Simple cases:  £10,000 -£15,000 + VAT

  • Medium complexity cases:  £15,000 - £25,000 + VAT

  • High complexity cases:  £25,000 - £50,000 + VAT

Factors that could make a case more complex include the following:

  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim

  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person

  • Making or defending a costs application

  • Complex issues such as whether a claimant is subject to a disability (if this is not agreed by the parties)

  • The number of witnesses and documents

  • Allegations of discrimination which are linked to the dismissal

  • Claims with potential consequences beyond the current case.

The above figures do not include our attendance at the final tribunal hearing.  Normally we will instruct counsel to represent the employer, and in simple cases our attendance in addition is unlikely to be required.  In medium or higher complexity case, we will normally need to attend with counsel.  Our fees for such attendance are likely to be around £2,250 to £2,500 + VAT per day. Generally, we would allow 1-10 days depending on the complexity of the case and the number of witnesses to be cross examined.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. The most likely disbursement we will incur will be fees for counsel for attending a final hearing.  Counsel generally charge daily rates of £750  to £2,000 + VAT.  Their fee for the first day of the hearing - their brief fee - is usually higher to include their time spent on advance  preparation.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and any likely compensation (this will obviously have to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)

  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation where this is mandatory to explore whether a settlement can be reached;

  • Considering the formal claim and preparing the response

  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process

  • Considering the claimant's schedule of loss

  • Preparing for and attending a telephone case management conference

  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents

  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses

  • Preparing bundle of documents

  • Reviewing and advising on the other party's witness statements

  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and case list

  • Preparation and attendance at final hearing, including instructions to counsel

 

How long will a matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, a case is likely to take 2 - 4 months. If the claim proceeds to a final hearing, it is likely to take 9 - 15 months . This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

       Grays Solicitors LLP

       Duncombe Place
       York

       YO1 7DY

t:     01904 634771

f:     01904 610711